Frequently Asked Questions About Reproductive Counseling

How can infertility counseling help?

Infertility is a life crisis that produces difficult and overwhelming feelings which may interfere with your daily life. It is common to feel depressed, anxious, hopeless, angry and isolated. Couples report that infertility negatively impacts their marital, sexual and social relationships. Infertility counseling focuses on decreasing anxiety and depression by helping you develop coping skills and stress reduction techniques, enhance communication with your partner, build social support and improve decision making about medical treatments and family building options?

Is infertility counseling a specialized field for therapists?

Yes. There are qualification guidelines for mental health professionals who work in reproductive medicine. To work with infertility patients it is imperative to have training in the medical and psychological aspects of infertility. Therapists must have an in-depth understanding of the basic infertility work-up, current treatment options, recurrent pregnancy loss, gender differences, cross-cultural issues, psychopharmacology and third party reproduction. Additionally, rapidly changing technologies and family building options with donors and surrogates make it essential for therapists to have expertise in the legal and ethical issues associated with infertility treatments.

Do you use mind/body interventions?

I incorporate mind/body interventions into my work with individuals and couples to help reduce stress and improve well-being. I completed the Mind/Body Professional Training Program with Alice Domar.

What is a psycho-educational consultation?

If you are planning to work with an egg, sperm or embryo donor, or a gestational surrogate, your reproductive endocrinologist likely will refer you for a psycho-educational consultation to receive information pertinent to the emotional, psychological and familial issues related to alternative family building. In my consultations I discuss the emotions you may have in transitioning to alternative family building and losing the genetic tie to your child, feelings a couple may experience about unequal genetic relatedness to their child, how to choose donor and surrogacy agencies, the screening process for donors and surrogates, decision making about anonymous and open identity donations, how to select a donor and factors to consider in disclosing donor and surrogate origins to your child. I also will talk with you about the possibility of a multiple pregnancy and your thoughts concerning frozen embryos. I will provide you with resources for future reference.